Wednesday July 8th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about someone who is: pugnacious.

Because that's just a fun word, that's why.

I finished the last section of blackberries that needed weeding this morning, though it was somewhat more... interesting than I'd planned on. The sprinklers were on in that area but I wasn't about to let that stop me. I could have turned them off until I finished... but it was already pretty hot out. So I didn't.

Weeds got yanked, I got soaked. Kept me cool the rest of the morning while I weeded around our carrots and beets and continued the work on our new strawberry patch.

So, all good, basically.


It was Tim's first day on the job and lunch hour was looming. And he was dreading it.

Work itself was going well. He understood all the concepts, his trainer was intelligent and skilled at explaining the best way to do everything. His desk had a view. Not of much, but at least he could look up and see something besides his desk, cubicle, and the cubicles of those surrounding him.

The problem was Harry.

Tim had spotted him in the lunch room when he and his trainer were getting coffee. He knew within moments that there would be problems with Harry. His tie, the way he walked, the way he carried himself... it was inevitable.

There was going to be an argument. Likely, it would get loud. Physical? Not out of the realm of possibilities. He didn't want to, not really.

It's just that he couldn't stop himself from picking a fight with somebody... and on this particular day that somebody was going to be Harry.


Greg said...

I think soaking yourself in the sprinklers while weeding is an inspired way of dealing with the heat! I hope you don't put any kind of weedkiller or beetle-deterrer in the sprinkler water though, it might not be good for your skin!
I like how the real problem in your story is Tim but you hide it right up until the end, by which time we've got some sympathy with him and it seems like a problem he's dealing with rather than one that everyone else has to deal with. And apart from that I know someone called Harry who is pretty much as you describe in the story, so it resonates :)

"The prognathic, pugnacious pugilist – good grief, Cyril, are you trying to win a Bulwer-Lytton?" asked Katto. Cyril heaved his bulk around uncomfortably in the chair, which creaked ungratefully. She carried on reading a little more, and then sighed. "This isn't going to work," she said. "Don't get me wrong, Cyril, this is a somnorific masterpiece, but we're looking at this the wrong way round."
Cyril raised an eyebrow, then leaned forward and delicately lifted the page from Katto's grip and turned it upside down. She laughed, a silvery sound reminiscent of a carillon trill. "Oh very nice," she said. "It's a map of the museum's main hall! Very clever, Cy." Her face straightened again and her tone became more sombre. "But we'll never persuade an audience that size to fall asleep together, and there's little chance of getting a nerve-toxin into the air-con."
Cyril frowned.
"Fine, fine, a sleeping gas. Be like that." She poked her tongue out, it was pink and oval like a cat's. "We're after the Hope diamond Cy, I don't think a body count is going to change the police response any."
"Diversion," said Cyril, his voice deep and throaty, almost purring the r's.
"Well yes, but it needs to be... well, someone pugnacious," said Katto. "They need to keep going and never stop. They need to engage the audience so violently that I can chloroform the lot of them without them caring what I'm doing. I need someone who can generate an animostic stage-presence and then turn that into body-poetry that you can't look away from! And I need you ready to go grab the diamond, so where do I find someone else who can do all that?"
Cyril's fingers dipped into a capacious pocket in his navy-blue jacket and pulled out a business card. A second stuck briefly to the first and then fell to the floor; it read "Partners in Rhymes." Katto picked it up and then took the other one from Cyril. She read it, and a half-smile formed on her lips.
"Do you think he will?"
"Payment." said Cyril, and Katto nodded. They were being paid more than enough for this, they could hire a subcontractor.
"Well then," she said. "Let's get the legendary Marco Kwan on the phone."

Marc said...

Greg - nah, it's just water, no additives. Felt pretty great, actually.

Hah, pleased to see Marco making another appearance... or at least appearing in a reference. These poets of yours are quite the team!